I know nothing about guitars and was looking for some thoughts on the best bet for $300 give or take. I would be playing just for fun (would probably start out with metallica) and am looking for the cheapest, respectable guitar that would cover me for a few years into the intermediate stage.

Im going to guitar world later today to look around, but so far might be leaning towards an ibenez but also saw a bc rich mockingbird (evil edge) that looked decent.

This forum looks great and I will be spending a lot of time here (I was referred by some guys at mma.tv)

Well if you can find one for that price tryan Epiphone Les Paul (Look on Ebay). If You cant find one try a Squier stratocaster, they have them in deals with an for under 300 USD
I'm guessing you don't have an amp then... you will need one
Ibanez RG321MH - (PAF Joe / FRED)
Vox AC30
I started playing guitar at 15 and my first guitar was the Squier Strat. I know there are better guitars out there but this guitar has provided me with everything I've wanted from a beginners guitar. It's affordable and sounds pretty good.

I bought the Squier Strat Pack which came with a practice amp, 6 picks, a strap, a cable, a tuner and a "Fender Method" book. It got me started pretty well. The practice amp packed a pretty decent wallop in my oppinion.

And then I grabbed a Digitech RP-50 and modified some distortion effects and so far it's been my guitar for three years now. I'm 17 now and I'm looking into a new guitar because I'd like to step up from the practice guitar. And yes I'm looking at an Ibanez.

My only gripes about the Squier are these.

1. The High-E tuning knob went a little wack after a while and feels a little loose but once you get it tuned right and stuff it stays pretty good.

2. The stupid input jack for the cord loosens easily and after so many times of plugging in my guitar I have to tighten it back up.

But since you said you were looking at some pretty badass looking guitars you might want to consider changing the pickguard of the Squier, if you choose to get it, to a black pickguard. It'll look more kickass.

I got my strat-pack for about $200. And I don't regret it.
I also started on a squire start. It looks like everyone does, but I soon raelised there are alot of much beter guitars out htere. Youre lucy you came to a place liek this first without just buying a guitar, I would buy a better guitar than a strat if I had $300, especially if you want something that looks sick too, and a black pickgaurd on a strat is about the lamest way to get a good looking guitar.

Check out Jackson and Ibanez for nice starter metal-type guitars. Of course for $300 you could get a "top-range" agile, so you might want to check out that link too. It will probably be better value for money with a Agile, but none of them look very metal besuides the V, which probably isnt a good bet for your first guitar.. sitting down comfortably will be neccesary.
epiphone les paul's are decent enough...fantastic for beginners and intermediate-advanced...

the lp looks and sounds nice..
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elo ther.
the Ibanez starter pack is fairly decent, in my experience.
Jackson DKMG & KE3, Fender Mexican Strat, Stagg Acoustic

Boss Compressor & Chorus, Dunlop Crybaby, Behringer Delay, ISP Decimator, Ibanez Tubescreamer

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I went in to guitar center and now may be leaning towards an ibanez RG2EX1 for $299, they said it is made exclusively for their stores. Its a shame a cant get that in a jump pack.

Any thoughts on this guitar?
searched the net and cant find any info on it, one of the few things it pulled up was a link to a page here because a guy listed it under his gear, I messaged him for his thoughts.
Yeah dude i once saw James Hetfield playin that on stage it was pretty sweet.
With your bitch slap rappin and your cocaine tounge you get nothing done.